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Marissa Mayer CEO of Yahoo
AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau
Eluded by growth.
MISSING GROWTH

Yahoo keeps losing executives, but that’s not its only problem

By Dan Frommer

Yahoo’s senior executives continue to leave amidst Marissa Mayer’s turnaround. The latest: Jackie Reses, who led corporate development at Yahoo, is joining Square to run its small-business financing arm, and Lisa Licht, a marketing executive, left last week. Recode’s Kara Swisher has compiled a long list of recent Yahoo departures across the company, from engineering to sales.

People come and go in Silicon Valley, especially during a rebound attempt, so this isn’t necessarily a crisis. (Yahoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

What’s arguably a bigger concern is that Yahoo’s turnaround effort, now three years in, isn’t driving much growth.

The company’s revenue after traffic acquisition costs has been flat for years, and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization continues to droop. When Yahoo reports third-quarter results tomorrow (Oct. 20), analysts project modest declines in both metrics.

Mayer has focused attention on new efforts like Tumblr, mobile, video, and native advertising. These so-called “Mavens” represented more than one-third of Yahoo’s traffic-driven revenue during the second quarter, up from about one-fourth a year prior. But they have not grown fast enough to make up for the rest of the company.

Most of Yahoo’s value, meanwhile, continues to be its stake in Alibaba—which it is trying to spin out—and Yahoo Japan.